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Old October 30th, 2002, 06:33 PM   #31
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Getting back to the original post, I'll let you guys know how it worked out.
I decided, since I'm not making enough on this project to warrent spending more on duplication, just to buy 3 VCRs (+ my existing one) and hook them up in series to record from my XL1 and hope for decent quality. I happened to be at Radio Shack buying a S-Video adapter and I asked about what they had in the way of duplication amps, keeping in mind what Chris Hurd said about them. The salesperson showed me a 4 output one for only $60cdn/$40us. Well, I though, it certainly can't hurt, and if it does I can take it back, and everyone on the DVinfo forum will certainly want to know how it worked, so it's worth the experiment.
So I brought it home and hooked it up. It seemed to work as I expected, producing mediocre quality results. Then I started to notice wavy red/blue lines across the screen. Then as the video moved into a darker/grainier scene, they went far beyond mediocre into awful. So I unhooked it all, and set it back up with only the VCRs linked in series. Results? Much better. Maybe not perfect, but definitely sellable quality. I'm not sure how this would vary with more than 4 VCRs, so take it for what it's worth.
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Old October 30th, 2002, 06:53 PM   #32
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Radio Shack is not a source for professional audio or video equipment. Sources for professional distribution amps are Panasonic, Laird and Comprehensive.

Jeff
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Old October 30th, 2002, 09:28 PM   #33
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<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald : Radio Shack is not a source for professional audio or video equipment. Sources for professional distribution amps are Panasonic, Laird and Comprehensive.

Jeff -->>>

Gee Jeff, what ever do you mean? I hear (snicker) that broadcast studios everywhere are replacing their gear with "Optimus" brand. ;)

Like I said, I was there anyway and thought I would give it a try just to see how it would work. It's sitting with the reciept by my door ready to go back tomorrow.

It's surprising that even with their amp only running one VCR, it still made the picture considerably worse than not using it. Maybe I got a bad one, but you think someone in R&D would notice and say, "hey, this sucks". Right?
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Old November 1st, 2002, 10:37 AM   #34
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Dylan, is this an "active" distribution unit? Does it need a supply voltage? Because DA amps are conceptually that simple (for VHS/SVHS signals) that I hardly can understand that even Radio Shack can make one where you can see quality differences in VHS copies (I know "pro's" don't like this statement...). So, or there is something wrong with the unit, or it's a passive one. You should know that consumer analog VCR's have an internal video AGC (automatic gain control), and you can feed them with a reduced video signal (like 25% of the original in case of a passive splitter) and they still produce (record) a full contrast image at the expense of quality (noise, extra interferences..). If you have an active DA, go back to the shop, if it is passive you lost your money and would have been better off reading my posts if you only need 4 or 5 copies at the time.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 12:02 PM   #35
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Hey,
I knew I wasn't going to lose money either way. I returned it for a refund.
It was an "active" unit, as you need to plug it into the wall to work. Maybe I just got a bad one, but it was brutally bad.
Linking the VCRs on their own worked acceptibly well in this case.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 12:28 PM   #36
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Sounds like the quality of the rest of RShack's products. If you go with some place like Markertek, which sells to commercial video people, you can't go wrong. Laird, Kramer, Ocaen Matrix being some of the brands they sell.
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Old November 1st, 2002, 06:54 PM   #37
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I like the looks of www.elitevideo.com when it comes time for me to buy a large scale unit.
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